Tips for ftp test

How do you prepare your ftp test?

Eat and hydrate smart, try to relax and get in the right headspace. No different to any other event or race really

Good luck!

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I think this is a very personal question, so I think the answer needs to depend on your experience of doing ftp tests. It also depends on which ftp test you are doing. Here are the things that i do for a ramp test on an indoors trainer.

  1. fuelling - ensure you are properly fuelled in the 24 hours prior.
  2. have something to listen to - hard house or dnb are my preferences
  3. ensure you have sufficient warm up - for me this is 20-25 minutes before starting the ramp test
  4. after the last effort in the warm up, have a caffeine gel
  5. have visual cues / messgaes that help me extend as long as possible: happy photos, written messages like smile, you‘ve got this, HR 180, 20 seconds more, count
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I’m going to add something here that isn’t related directly to preparation. If the goal is to win at FTP tests, then prepare as if it was a race (warm-up, fueling, etc). However, I prefer to think of FTP tests as a gauge for training. So in other words, don’t sweat it too much. If you do a test, use the number you get to set your training plan intensity and don’t worry about a few watts plus or minus. If you use a realistic FTP number to set training intensities, that will be much better than using a number that sets your intensities too high. The end result should be performance at a planned race or event, not performance at an FTP test. Having said that, FTP tests can be good practice for shorter high intensity events.
As you do more tests, you will not only be able to see the improvement in your fitness but also in your ability to take FTP tests. :slight_smile:


Agree with #Colin and #kicikacsa: did my latest FTP last week. I’ve lost count of the number I’ve done over the years but I still fear them and treat them seriously every time. I think you should be feeling some fear because it’s a test, it’s supposed to be hard, and the whole point of it is to push yourself to the limit to establish a baseline from which to adjust training and meet you goals/set new goals. As such, I think approaching it with the right mindset is key. It’s very easy to mess up a test by going too hard. It’s very hard to negative split an FTP test. I like to break it down into 5 min blocks if I’m doing a 20 min test: first 5 is a settle in phase - find the rhythm, the cadence, find a good HR zone. While it is hard to do, I recommend sitting a few watts below target and working into the rest of the workout - keep this pace for as long as possible in the first 10 mins. Second 5 mins - and the middle 10 mins - for me is all about keeping focused, trying not to move around/stand up/stay in one position/gear and be PRESENT. I tell myself that another 5 mins get’s me to half way and that anyone can do anything for 5 mins so I’ve really only got to keep it together for the 3rd 5 min set after which, in my opinion and experience, if I am not at or approaching my limit then I’ve left too much in the tank. The last 5 are hard as they should be. Very hard. for the 4th 5 min set I grab the carrot I left myself and stand up/move to a bigger gear/do whatever it takes to get to the end. In every workout BUT the FTP, I am watching something on YouTube - I never watch or listen o anything during an FTP - for me I need to be very present in the moment with no distraction and I want to feel the pain and effort and not be distracted at all. I’m also a big believer in music as a motivator - not sure why for FTP’s I need silence, just my personal thing - as the guys above say - its very personal. I always try to do it when I know I won’t get distracted y my kids/noise whatever - it’s an all out effort that IMHO deserves full attention. Lastly, again IMHO, it’s not an effort during which you should be consuming anything at all - all that has to be done before - total focus on the test. At the end if I am not slumped over the bars, unable to pedal one stroke and feeling cross-eyed for 2-3 mins then I know I’ve not tried hard enough. Again, just me. I hate FTP’s. I LOVE FTP’s.
Good luck !!!


Woow! amazing tips! thanks all :heart_eyes:

For me it depends on the purpose of doing the ftp test. If it is just as a gauge of where you are currently then I just slot it in after an easy day. For me I’ve always found I perform worse after a rest day.

If it is more about seeing my max then here I will have an easy week before the test to ensure I’m am fresh and not fatigued.

However I am more of why test. If Zwift or Garmin decide they have detected a new ftp I might adjust things. However for me I am more if workouts are feeling too easy and achievable I’ll up the ftp a bit. Perhaps it is because I have tested before and then just found some workouts are just way too hard and just not achievable. Unless I know I’m not feeling great before the workout etc I still very much like to work on feel.

Other than that I always aim to be well hydrated and fuelled so I never need to think about things like that the day before.

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Some great advice here. @Spoow will you let us know how the test goes please?

fantastic ! 4% UP :smiley:

Thanks to @pav


Haha!! We make a great team @Spoow :slight_smile:

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And actually 4.9% up!! :wink:


4.9% (just call it 5% :rofl:) is excellent. Congratulation!


hahaha :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl::rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

Nice one @Spoow. Now to enjoy the rich reward of harder work.

Thanks … thats true lol :sob:

@spoow ! congrats - 5% is huge ! The irony of trying hard in these FTP tests is that the next one will be harder !! Can I ask if you employed any of the feedback and if so if anything in particular worked/didn’t work of you ?


Thank you !!

  1. Serious preparation for the test.
  2. Nothing to watch or listen to, so I can purely focus.
  3. Proper fueling, hydration, and good sleep are essential!
  4. During the test, I had a Drink Mix 320 Café 100.
  5. @pav :stuck_out_tongue:

Not just the next test being harder but all future training now built of new FTP so those hard sessions are now even harder :rofl:

It never gets easier you just go faster… :rocket:


Great work on this. Really pleasing to read

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Well done on the gains!